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In a strongly worded letter to the Indian FA, the head coach of Dempo Sports Club has replied to the show-cause notice sent...

Armando Colaco was issued a show-cause notice by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on 14 November, for allegedly entering the pitch in the I-League match against East Bengal on 3 November 2012.

It has been reliably learnt that the Dempo coach thereby requested for the referee’s report and match clippings to enable him to reply to the charges. However, his request was turned down and he was asked to reply by November 21; failing which he would be penalised or even banned from the touchline.

In his reply, the 59-year old categorically refuted the claims of the AIFF as he claimed not having entered the pitch given that the match official hasn't taken a stand against him.

“To the best of my knowledge and belief I did not enter the field of play for protesting against the referee’s decision. My colleagues as well as the players on the substitutes have confirmed that I did not enter the field of play,” Colaco said in his reply to the AIFF.

“The fact that neither the Referee cautioned me nor did the Reserve Referee come towards me shows that I did not commit any infringement. The FIFA Rules clearly stipulate that that if an official enters the field of play, the referee must have him removed from the field of play and if his behaviour is irresponsible, the referee must expel him from the field of play and its immediate surroundings.

“In this case, the referee neither cautioned me nor expelled me from the field of play which indicates that I did nothing wrong,” he wrote in his letter.
"No doubt, I was definitely agitated when the referee denied my team an obvious penalty (which was later confirmed by East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan and also the concerned player Saumik Dey) and instead cautioned my player for diving which left me furious, yelling and shouting, which is normal and happens with any official at the spur of the moment decision, but in no way did I enter the field of play to protest the referee’s decision."
Colaco also cast a doubt on the AIFF’s intentions after the show-cause notice was sent to him 11 days later from the said date.

“The said match took place on 3rd November 2012 and I really cannot understand why and how it took so much of time to issue me a show -cause notice on 14th November 2012. The time taken in coming to a decision appears to be prompted less by a desire to enforce match discipline and more by a dubious after-thought,” he claimed.

The former Dempo player also exerted: “I want to elucidate here that throughout my sporting career, both as a player and now also as a coach, I always conducted myself in a very dignified and respectful manner and will continue doing so as long as I live.

“As you have refused to furnish the documents on which you state you have based your decisions, I reserve the right to add to my reply in case of need in future.”

Colaco further stated that no newspaper in Kolkata mentioned about him entering the field of play while admitting that he only left his technical area towards the touchline.

“No newspaper in Kolkata has ever mentioned that I entered the playing field of play or protested against the referee’s decision,” he said. “I do accept and admit that I moved out of my technical area and proceeded to the right side touch line when I noticed that my players were still reasoning with the referee, but this was only to calm down my players and to direct them to forget everything and to carry on with the game.”

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